Saturday, September 24, 2005

AN EMAIL FROM MONA LISA SALOY, A NEW ORLEANS POET

Each day, I am hearing the good news that my Dillard/New Orleans friends are safe. I received this email from Mona Lisa Saloy, who captures the uniqueness and beauty of New Orleans in her poetry. She is on her way to the University of Washington to await the opening of her "fair Dillard." The book to which she refers in the quote from Ishmael Reed's blurb is entitled "Red Beans and Ricely Yours" scheduled for release this year. I am dancing as I share this email with you because Mona Lisa is safe!!! gwgayles



Gloria, I visited New Olreans on Monday. Ishmael Reed's words ["Mona Lisa's book may well be the last will and testiment of a beautiful city, murdered by stupidity"] are more than on target. My beloved New Orleans is a ghost town, like the abandoned towns of the old west, empty, dead, no grass, nothing growing, no one there. I salvaged a few clothes, some research, my Kaufman books since I'd like to finish that work and get it to a publisher. Everything is ruined, my library, even my clothes--the smell is unimaginable; already I've washed them again and again, hoping to at least recover my jeans and some shirts. Some fine things are in the dry cleaner, and because everything floated around, I couldn't get to my winter coat. All my shoes are gone, my beautiful kitchen and new bedroom. I had just renovated last year. How can we all rebuild at once? At least, in my neighborhood, our old shotgun homes are still standing. In the East, it is more of a war zone with massive damage to most every home and more extensive flooding. It was horrible. I'm exhausted, and trying to get everything in order before flying out on Friday, the 23rd of Sept. I'll get together with my sister Barbara, who lives in Seattle, one great reason to pick that place. I have so much to be thankful for since daily I see so many without jobs or a place to go. God help us all.

Mona Lisa Saloy

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